Jointers & Planers

What Is A Woodworking Jointer Used For?

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Jacky C

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What Is A Woodworking Jointer Used For

Woodworkers are always struggling to produce a completely flat surface without imperfections such as blemishes, cupped woods, knots, twists, and rough edges. Woodworking jointer is the best in terms of when you are dealing with rough lumbers, and they are rated as one of the three priority purchases a woodsmith should do instantly after planning to start his passion for woodcrafts.

What Is A Woodworking Jointer Used For?

A jointer is a mechanical woodworking tool used to flatten one face and one adjacent edge of the rough lumber. It prepares two corners of the board to be glued or fastened together.

If you are a hobbyist or a newbie in the woodworking world, this blog will provide you with plenty of information about:

  • How a jointer works
  • What is a Jointer planer combo?
  • Changeover guide from a jointer to planer

So, stick around to raise your level from a hobbyist to a professional one.

How a jointer works?

With the combined operation of an infeed table, an outfeed table, a cutter head, and a fence the flattening of rough lumber is carried out. 

Let’s learn in detail what steps the jointer follows while planning the stock.

  • The infeed and outfeed tables are perfectly flat and lie coplanar to each other. The infeed table supports the board fed into the jointer whereas the outfeed table supports the lumber that is being milled out from the jointer.
  • The blades of the cutter head of the jointer lie across to the fence which itself is perpendicular along the edge of infeed and outfeed tables.
  • The height of the infeed table is set according to the depth of cut required or the amount of stock to be removed in one go. That means the lower the infeed table the greater the cut it has.
  • Whereas the height of the outfeed table is set according to the cutter head. To which the jointer fence runs perpendicularly.
  • The cutting board is fed on the infeed table to which the jointer might take several passes according to the quantity of material needed to be removed for achieving a perfectly flat surface. Usually, the depth of the cut varies from 1/16 to 1/8 inch. The stock is removed making that face or edge exclusively parallel to the outfeed table.

The 6-inch jointer is the most common in the woodworking marketplace. That means the cutter head is 6 inches in length. Which further states that the jointer can process no more than 6 inches. The lengths of the infeed and outfeed table only relate to the reference area your jointer is going to support. 

What is a jointer planer combo?

As discussed previously a woodworking enthusiast requires three tools in his workshop priorly i.e., a jointer, a planer, and a table saw.

What problem the woodworkers mostly face in their woodshop is limited space. And if you are a DIYer or a hobbyist then it is a high probability that you have converted your garage’s leftover space into a workshop. 

If that is the scene, then the jointer planer combo would work as a blessing for you as it carries fewer footprints.

So, first, talk about what a jointer planer combo is?

It is a power tool through which you can get done two operations of surfacing and squaring up your stock simultaneously. 

As the work is done by a single cutterhead therefore it requires less space and a lesser cost.


  • Jointer planer combos offer a wide joining capacity as the single jointer cutterhead is used for the planning and jointing operation as well. Therefore, you can handle wider boards with this power tool.
  • Most of the combos available on market possess a helical or carbide cutterhead which is more reliable and long-lasting than other cutterheads.
  • The jointer planer combo requires very less space as compared to the two separate machines.
  • It is also economical as compared to when two machines are bought separately.


Like every other thing, jointer planer combos come with a few drawbacks too.  That doesn’t lessen their efficacy, but a few pointers will poke you to reconsider your opinion that whether you should buy it or not.

  • First and prior one, downtime is high. This means change over routine takes a quite big chunk of time.
  • The efficiency of both the operations is lesser in a combo than the two separate machines.
  • The jointer planer combo faces alignment issues after some time as repeated changeovers loosen certain parts.
  • Jointing and planning operations cannot be done side by side. You need to convert the whole system of jointing to the planer. 

By mentioning the cons, we are not discouraging you to buy a jointer planer combo, but we are giving you an honest reflection about what we have felt as a user. It might be possible that after buying the set you have a different opinion than us.

Shifting over from a jointer to a planer

These witch overs vary from person to person. Some people do not like to invest much of their time in transporting their workpiece from one cutter to another while some of them love hopping between machines all day.

The changeover time is not quite time taking. It only takes you 5 minutes to switch from a jointer to a planer and as you will become used to the process the downtime will further decrease.

So, if you are still planning to buy a jointer planer combo, read the following blog as a guideline for your changeover operation.

The changeover in 4 easy steps:

Follow these 4 steps for simple operations for carrying out your conversion.

  1. Unlock and elevate your jointer table.
  2. Re-align the dust chute for planning operation.
  3. Elevate the planer table to achieve the desired depth of cut.
  4. Engage planer drive rollers.

Overall, the wide jointer will improve your cutting process with its great quality helical cutterhead. Also, it would free up massive space in your workshop where you can bring more woodworking tools and explore the world of woodcrafts.


Moving on to some of your frequently asked questions.

Is buying a jointer planer combo worth it?

If you are a DIYer or a hobbyist then you must buy the jointer planer combo as it would not only save your hundreds of bucks invested to buy different machines but, if you are a professional woodworker and has a certain target or work to achieve by the end of the day then you must go for buying these two machines separately.

A separate jointer and a planer machine might be a heavy investment but more effective and save lots of your precious time wasted in changeovers. 

Moreover, it would be reliable and durable for a much longer period than the combo.

What is the difference between a jointer and a planer?

A jointer flattens the face of lumber or squares up an edge. While the planer thicknesses the stock. Both operations are quite different from each other and cannot be used as interchangeable terms.

Keep in mind that a jointer makes the edge straight and faces the board so that the jointing operation is performed uniformly while the planer brings the board in a uniform thickness throughout the face and makes it parallel to the other one.

Which is better: a jointer or a planer?

Jointer and planer are the two separate must-haves of a woodshop. Both of these are irreplaceable from each other.

Jointer performs flattening of the board face and squaring of the edges which a planer simply cannot perform. In the same way, a planer instantly reduces the thickness of the board and makes the faces parallel to each other.

Concluding the fact that both jointing and planning are two different operations and neither of them can be performed by a single cutterhead.

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